Friday, 24 September 2010
147 Peter Ward
Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91
Appearances : 84
Goals : 10
Peter was signed on a free transfer from Huddersfield. When he first appeared in their side in 1987 I assumed he was the former Brighton and Forest striker of the same name but this guy was signed from Chester-le-Street. Rather oddly Peter made 33 of his 37 appearances for them in the Second Division and only 4 after they'd been relegated.
Peter was one of Dolan's best signings in fact one of the best by any manager. He was a tall well-built lad (a female Dale fan assures me that Peter was the top "hottie" she's seen at the Dale) who played on the left side of midfield though he could do a job at centre forward when required. He was a combative player who used his strength well and had a great left foot often able to beat several players with his close control. He just lacked that yard of pace that would have made him a top division player. Peter always gave 100 % and was a nice guy too expressing his surprise at winning the Supporters Club Player of the Year in 1991 because he didn't feel he'd been consistent enough. Everybody's favourite goal was his header that proved to be the winner at Turf Moor in January 1990 after we'd held them off with nine men. Unfortunately Peter is also remembered for not putting away a decent chance to level the game at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup although in truth it was a good save by NIgel Martyn rather than a bad miss by Peter.
Unfortunately for us Danny Bergara came calling in the summer of 1991 and lured him away to Stockport for £30,000 plus Mark Payne. He had four good years at Stockport playing (and losing) at Wembley four times before Wrexham signed him for £50,000 in 1995. They got another four seasons out of him with 14 goals in 120 appearances. On his release he applied for the manager's job here with a recommendation from Brian Flynn but lost out to Steve Parkin. He then went to Morecambe but decided to retire after one game. In recent years he has been assistant manager to Jim Gannon at Stockport and Motherwell and is now back at Stockport as assistant to Paul Simpson which makes wishing him further success problematic.